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AIO vs Custom Watercooling

Why do the reviews of AIOs I see seem to get much, much higher temps than custom watercooling with similar-sized radiators and pumps with the same CPUs at the same clock speeds and voltages? Is there something I'm missing?
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  1. Never mind, found the answer I was looking for. It's about the quality of parts. AIO coolers pretty much all use aluminum radiators while custom loops use copper, and the heat transfer difference is enormous.
  2. Best answer
    Not all of them use aluminum radiators, but that is generally true.

    The 'expensive' CPU blocks are made to pretty exacting standards to get them to stand out against competition. Brass/copper radiators are superior at heat exchange and since the CPU coolers tend to be copper as well, not mixing metals. Combine that with typically larger reservoirs and, though not strictly important, flow rates. Fan quality is also a factor.

    I should add that once you hit the really high quality all-in-ones it is about the same to buy the discrete parts and open yourself up to adding a GPU. (Though with the pre-filled quick disconnect ones out there now, this is less true)
  3. yes ther performance differences are there between aio and custom, but will not really matter to the average user. they'll all still be well within safe ranges. the main draws of aio is ease of install and price, whereas a custom loop may have better quality parts and no limits on customization but they're 2-300 just to do a cpu loop and take work(and confidence in your work) to design and install
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